Normally I review all artists alphabetically, but it makes sense to talk about this album here, as this was Robin Taylor’s first release of 2008, his 25th album. This was quite a different project for him as although the instrumental passages were still important this involves far more musicians and lyrics. The line-up for this album was Robin (guitars; keyboards; percussion), Jytte Lindberg (primary lead vocals), Louise Nipper (lead & backing vocals), Michael Denner (guitars), Bjarne Holm (drums), Carsten Sindvald (saxophones), Flemming Muus Tranberg (bass), Jon Hemmersam (guitars) and Pierre Tassone (violin). This album sees Robin head far more into progressive territory, yet still with the restraint and use of space that is such an important feature of his music.
Michael is there providing just a hint of menace, but again he is very much part of the band and in many ways fits into this role better than he did in the previous release. This is more of a songs based album than the others, with less jazz stylings (although it is never too far away) and is a real coming together of styles with prog coming together with music that in some ways is almost New Age. This is an extremely mature release in that there is a feeling of there being nothing to prove, all those involved know their part and are happy with it, this is music that the listener needs to go towards and to discover – it will not be rammed down the throat of all and sundry but instead will be enjoyed by those lucky enough to hear it.
The vocals are pure and clear, working well with a musical backdrop that at times can be quite minimalistic. It is the arrangements that make this album, simple statements showing the music does not have to be overblown to be technically clean and beguiling – there is almost a sterility reminiscent of some of Roger Eno’s work, yet at the same time there is a warmth and comfort that welcomes all.
All four of the albums reviewed here have their merits and I urge readers to search out this musician who is sadly unknown to many even within the progressive scene. Now that I have found him I will be looking to his releases with great interest.